Transcript - Night Club Fire - Early Show - CBS - February 25, 2003

Nightclub Tragedies
Early Show
February 25, 2003

00:28 - 03:57

Hannah Storm: Hi everybody, welcome back to The Early Show, I'm Hannah Storm

Harry Smith: And I am Harry Smith. Ahead this morning on Health Watch we are going to tell you why some of the fish you may be eating may be dangerous to your health.

Hannah Storm: Plus, our kind of workout, a workout that promises to get you in shape with a minimal amount of effort.

Renee: As we said a grand jury is investigating that Rhode Island nightclub fire that killed 97 people last week. While no one has been officially charged, the class action lawsuit on behalf of the dead and injured is in the works. Attorney Kenneth Moll is expected to file that lawsuit. He is with us this morning. Mr. Moll, good morning.

Ken Moll: Good morning Renee.

Renee: Why a class action lawsuit, why not individual suits in this case?

Ken Moll: Well, we believe that during the investigation, there may be a limited amount of funds available for the victims and by having a class action it prevents one family or victim from receiving the compensation or the fund or depleting the fund. This way we can make sure there is a fair split of the funds with all the families.

Renee: If folks join in the class action suit do they then give up their rights to file individually, or could they still do that?

Ken Moll: No, they could still do that. We were contacted by victims and their families to conduct a full investigation into the allegations in this fire. If there are limited funds available we do so. Our firm, other firms involved, do not want to take one penny away from the victims families but to conduct a thorough and complete investigation not only against the club owners and the band and the promoter and the manager, but also against the manufacturer of the material used in the nightclub for the soundproofing, the contractor that elected to use that type of material, the pyrotechnics manufacturer, and the city itself for what we believe was a failed inspection.

Renee: So, your investigation will be coupled with what authorities come up with and that will be the basis of your lawsuit, I am assuming?

Ken Moll: Well, we are investigating. We want to expose the facts that expose the negligent acts that occurred in hopes that this doesn't happen again. We want to get to the bottom of who was at fault here because this was a horrific tragedy that was preventable.

Renee: The band, Great White, the club owners, the Dredarian Brothers each blaming one another. Is that going to have an impact in your class action lawsuit?

Ken Moll: If anything, it's going to show that there were multiple negligent acts that occurred to lead up to the events that led up to the tragedy last week. The material that was used was wrong. The owners knew that pyrotechnics were being used. The band knew that they were using pyrotechnics. There were a lot of people not watching after the safety of the patrons that were in the nightclub that night.

Renee: Why are you getting involved? It seems just a little bit premature in the fact that the investigation is ongoing.

Ken Moll: The victim's families need to be represented during this time of the investigation. We were contacted by families out there due to the fact that our firm is known for doing high exposure class actions. We have made it very clear from the very beginning that if there is a limited fund we don't want to take one penny away from the families but we do believe that the families need to be represented during this time and during this investigation.

Renee: So, you are willing to forgo your compensation if it turns out in fact that there is not enough money to, as you say, compensate the victims of this crime?

Ken Moll: Absolutely, that is not our concern at this point. Our concern at this point is that the families are represented during this investigation. There is nobody representing the families during the investigation at this time. The very authorities that are conducting the investigation, are the very people we are looking at.

Renee: Alright Mr. Moll, Thank you.

Ken Moll: Thank you.